December 20, 2010

What was the best moment in Canadian democracy in 2010?

By Alison Loat
In the spirit of our mission to strengthen Canadian democracy, Samara is asking Canadians to participate in identifying the Best Moment in Canadian Democracy 2010. This is designed to encourage Canadians to reflect on the positive moments in our public life that we do not often hear about. The moment could be one that took place inside or outside of Parliament or other legislative chambers. ... [More]

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December 14, 2010

Holiday reads

By Alison Loat
On Sunday's Loat family Christmas party I was mercilessly teased for my somewhat nerdy contributions to the Public Policy Forum's "Booked for the Holidays," an annual compilation of what various public policy types plan to read over the holidays that also ran in the Toronto Star. Many mentioned Stieg Larrson and the Giller prize-winning book The Sentimentalist.  I picked two books that are h... [More]

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December 11, 2010

"Welcome to Parliament" in the media

By Alison Loat
There was some nice coverage of our second MP exit interview report, "Welcome to Parliament: A Job With No Description" last week. The highlights included: An op-ed in the Globe and Mail, What is a Canadian MP's job? They dunno. Lots of great discussion too, including three letters to the editor an excerpt by Aaron Wherry at Maclean's. An interview with Carol Off on CBC Radio's "As It Happens.... [More]

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December 10, 2010

Winner of Guess Who?, volume 11

By Alison Loat
Congratulations to the latest winner of the latest Guess Who contest! New Brunswick's Cody Waite was chosen among those who correctly guessed Ontario MP Bonnie Brown as the quoted MP (click here to read her quote).  It's "Future Babble" week, so Cody will recieve a copy of Dan Gardner's book of the same name. * * * Guess Who? will be on hiatus for the holidays, resuming in January.  I... [More]

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December 8, 2010

Guess Who? And win 'Future Babble'... (vol. 11)

By Alison Loat
In our eleventh (and first post-report) edition of our bi-weekly "Guess Who?" contest, it's "Future Babble" week, where the contest winner will receive a copy of Dan Gardner's new book of the same name. This book is a "critical look at expert predictions and the psychology that explains why people believe them even though they consistently fail." Below we reveal a quote from one of our MP... [More]

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December 7, 2010

"A problem well-defined is a problem half-solved"

By Alison Loat
In this week's Hill Times, Joe Jordan kindly focused his column on our work.  Because the HT is behind a paywall, with Joe's permission I've republished his column below. *** We need to stop the blame game, engage the country and make Parliament work again By JOE JORDAN I must admit that I have had a recent run of articles with a particularly pessimistic tone about the current state of o... [More]

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